Abortion trauma and male suicide: "a heartbreaking ocean of pain"
5 June 2017
A 2011 study found that young men whose partners aborted were twice as likely to use substances and suffer depression compared with men who had not had that experience.
A journalist for the Australian Daily Telegraph has written on the link between abortion trauma and male suicide.
Corrine Barraclough wrote the article after talking to Julie Cook, national director of Abortion Grief Australia (AGA), and concluded that what she learnt about the effect abortion has on men "is a heartbreaking ocean of pain I had no idea existed".
Overcome with grief
For some men, the grief of losing their unborn son or daughter to abortion is so extreme that they end up committing suicide. This is one story Julie Cook told:
"A woman called recently crying hysterically. It would have been her wedding day, she was inconsolable," says Cook. "Her fiance had taken his life a few weeks before. She had been pregnant and thought it was too soon to add a baby to their relationship, so went for an abortion and didn't say a word. When he found out he was overcome with grief and took his life. It’s not uncommon. This is something we must recognise and discuss more openly as a society."
Another story involved a 16 year old boy, who was saved from suicide "by two seconds". "He had been doing well at school but following his girlfriend’s abortion and their subsequent breakup, his grades fell. He dropped out of school and became homeless. Sadly, he also told the counsellor of a friend's suicide because of abortion too," Cook said.
Abortion doesn't just hurt women
Part of the problem is that there is very little recognition of a link between abortion and male depression and suicide. "Most suicide counsellors aren’t trained to identify abortion trauma," Ms Cook told the paper. "In fact, the vast majority aren’t even aware that it can be an issue for men. Most women have no concept that abortion can hurt men."
"Male suicides can be both directly and indirectly related to abortion,” she went on. "One of the biggest predictors of male suicide is relationship breakdown. Unless work is done towards resolution, abortion trauma often destroys relationships."
Twice as likely to suffer depression
It's not just groups dealing with post-abortion trauma that are making the link between abortion and male depression. In 2011, Dr Kaeleen Dingle from the University of Queensland presented a study at the World Congress of Asian Psychiatry in Melbourne showing the connection between young men and depression.
She found young men whose partners aborted were twice as likely to use substances and suffer depression compared with men who had not had that experience.
Ms Barraclough writes that the "stories are countless and make my blood run cold." Although she clearly supports abortion she says "as a woman, I wonder if I have only ever thought of abortion from one side of the fence?" Hopefully hearing these stories will lead her to think of the effect abortion has not only on the man, but on the baby.
If you or anyone you know (man or woman) has been affected by an abortion experience, get in touch with one of the counsellors/befrienders at Abortion Recovery Care and Helpline.
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